In March 2018, Andrew Peterson released his latest album Resurrection Letters, Vol.1 to much critical fanfare. No individual song has received as much attention and adulation than “Is He Worthy?”  The video for the song has been viewed over 1,000,000 times online, and it has opened doors to new audiences – including earlier this month at the sold-out Getty SING! 2018 conference. [In June, “Is He Worthy?” was also cited by the UTR Critics Panel as one of the Best Songs of 2018 So Far.]

Now the song is about to go global in a major way – but Andrew Peterson isn’t singing in this version. Earlier today, 23-time Dove Award-winning artist Chris Tomlin released his version of AP’s song “Is He Worthy?” It’s one of the new singles available on iTunes now from his next studio album Holy Roar (album street date is 10/26/18).

Enter conflicting feelings.

On the one hand, this is quite the honor – after all Chris Tomlin has one of the biggest and most respected worship-music platforms on the planet today.  Most people don’t know this, but Tomlin has at least a co-write credit on almost ALL of his music (over 90%).  However, a few of his biggest hits are “borrowed” songs (e.g. “Good Good Father,” “God of this City,” “Indescribable,” “Everlasting God”). And we have seen some career leaps because of this mega-exposure – like what Tomlin did for Laura Story (principle writer of “Indescribable”) or what David Crowder did for John Mark McMillan (writer of “How He Loves”).

On the other hand, some of these examples are creating a national release for a fairly unheard song by a fairly unknown indie artist. Some of us Andrew Peterson apologists really wanted this song – just the way AP made it – to take off and gain worldwide momentum.  And we were seeing a taste of that with the music video and church choir interest in this modern day hymn.  Yes, the guts of the song (and the incredible lyrics) are all still there in the Chris Tomlin version, but it has also been souped up for a CCM radio listening audience with fresh electric guitar washes and a bit more of a synthetic sounding choir.

There are other factors. In terms of the business side of music, it’s very helpful for a songwriter to have a mega-star in any genre cut one of the songs you wrote.  If it becomes a “hit” that helps the songwriter even more (regardless of how much credit the songwriter is given). And then there’s the ministry side of music. One song is given a wider platform to reach more ears and more hearts with Bible-based poetry.  What kind of ogre would want to stand in the way of that? Right? – And yet the conflicting feelings remain.

Take a listen for yourself:

I think some folks (me included) have a couple of bones to pick. (a) Chris Tomlin [or his intern] revealed the song release today on Instagram by announcing “Surprise! One of my new songs ‘Is He Worthy’ …is available.”  Some folks would like to see a bit more credit given to AP, especially since he is not an obscure, unknown songwriter.  (b) The timing is… interesting. It’s the main single on a major label album released only 6 months ago. I’m not sure how things work behind the scenes, but it just seems like it’s still the “it” song for AP, and maybe that wave needs to subside before another artist records it and calls it “my song.” Right?

Joy. Lament.  Oh these conflicting feelings. 🙂

We want to know what YOU think. Comment below with this make-shift poll:

(A) This is great news! Very happy that the song will get a wider audience.
(B) I’m happy overall with some small reservations
(C) I’m torn. It’s good news. And kinda bad news. Ugh.
(D) Overall thumbs down. Really only want AP’s version to go wide.